Nidhi Patadia - Volunteer of the Month for Dec 2020
Please join us in congratulating Nidhi Patadia for being nominated as Immigrant Services Calgary’s Volunteer of the month for December 2020!
Nidhi became a volunteer in July, 2020. Since then, she has been a constant source of support and positivity. When she started volunteering, Immigrant Services Calgary had transitioned services online. We needed support from volunteers like Nidhi to help deliver virtual services.
This year thus far, Nidhi generously donated 280 hours of volunteer time to Immigrant Services Calgary. We’re eternally grateful for Nidhi’s support. Thank you Nidhi for all your help over this challenging and rewarding past year!
Here is Nidhi’s story:
I moved from India to Canada, my new home country, in 2017. I came to Canada as a newly married bride in January of that year. Calgary welcomed me with a full heart, and lots of snow of course! I didn’t know how to drive a car, never lived in cold weather, and transit was far from my house, so I stayed at home for the first 2-3 months after coming to Canada. I was feeling so lonely and horrible. I decided to go out and learn more about resources available for new immigrants in Calgary. Every day I was going to different organizations to learn what kind of programs are available for new immigrants and I was quite impressed by the services we have available in our community. This became my new routine: meet new people and network with the new immigrant friends who have the same goals as mine. I took my English Assessment at ILVARC and ISC staff helped to give the referral that is how I came to know about CIWA programs. I started the Accounting program at CIWA on weekdays and on the weekend I did Clerical training at TIES.
My friend Tarleen told me about the “Career Focus Program” at CIWA. This program helped me a lot to settle in Canada and gain Canadian workplace experience. As a part of the program I did my practicum at Can Learn Society as an Office Administrator. At the front desk I helped patients to see the correct practitioner, booking appointments and other daily accounting activities. Then I got an opportunity to work with CIWA in their Interpretation and Translation department as an Administrative Assistant. In this role I helped clients who wanted to have their documents translated and find interpretation services, and prepared materials for students. After I completed my contract position, we moved to Medicine Hat for a year. I decided to upgrade my education and knowledge, I started a Business Administration Management Diploma from Robertson college, Calgary in 2018. With the hard work and support from my caring husband Ridhish and my parents Hari & Rekha, I received an Outstanding Achievement Award for the academic excellence which was the best moment of my life. As a little girl it was always my dream to make myself and my parents proud. I felt like finally this is the moment I was waiting for so long. All the hard work, sacrifices and dedication made my dream come true. I have faced different challenges in my life when I moved to Canada as a newcomer and a newly married bride, I was missing my home, parents and my best friend Suman so much but my best friend my husband was always there to make me smile and feel happy.
In Oct 2019 I moved back to Calgary, I started working at an Immigration firm as an “Admin Assistant” where I was helping clients to prepare for their various visa application and proofread documents. I got my driver’s license and purchased my first car. I could not believe it, is this really my car? After a few months I got laid off because of COVID-19 which gave me the opportunity to give back to our community which I wanted to do for so long. I thought that now I have more knowledge and professional experience working in the Canadian workplace and I have been on both sides so my knowledge and learning experience would be helpful for newcomer. I am currently volunteering as a “Receptionist” in ILVARC starting from July 2020. I help at the front desk with incoming calls from new immigrants and community partners and direct them to the appropriate counsellor. The most enjoyable part of volunteering is that I love helping new immigrants to book their English Assessment and to get the Referrals, I am a great listener: when I notice our client is new to Canada and trying to book their own assessment in a new language I love to help them by motivating their language skills and confidence. I always make sure that my speaking skills and communication skill will help both clients and my team members. In the current COVID-19 situation I am glad to see people are finally making time to pursue their education after spending years here and fulfilling their responsibility towards their family, deciding to upgrade their knowledge and education! In October, I started volunteering at the Settlement & Community Centre with the same remote work tasks to cover the station. What I love most about Immigrant Services Calgary is that we work as a team and we are here for each other to make a difference in newcomer’s lives. I am looking forward to helping clients for in person services and my team members once the COVID situation gets better.
This is what some of our team members had to say about Nidhi:
Nidhi is a wonderful volunteer with a cheerful, supportive, and kind personality. She always keeps a positive attitude and I have seen her grow a lot professionally during the last 5 months she has been supporting CLARC Reception. Everyone in the team enjoys working with her and I personally consider she will be a good fit in any organization. In the meantime, we are happy and grateful having her as part of ISC Team since she also provides support to Settlement Reception.
Norgaby Diaz, Volunteer Engagement Specialist, Language Assessment and Referral Centre
Nidhi is a dedicated person and has been a valuable volunteer for ISC at CLARC’s reception for some months. A month ago, she was also added to Settlement department’s reception as a volunteer and has been doing a wonderful job ever since. She is professional, reliable and easy to work with. She is punctual and a fast learner. Therefore, she can adopt to the role she is assigned to.
Akram Zangenah, Receptionist, Immigrant Services Calgary